Garuda has launched a new sub-brand to serve more remote parts of the Indonesian archipelago.
Named ‘Explore’, the new service will use the airline’s new fleet of smaller aircraft to access islands and airports unable to handle larger aircraft. The move forms part of the Indonesian government’s plan to connect more remote area of the country.
The Explore brand will be split into two parts – Explore, using ATR72-600 turboprop aircraft, and Explore Jet, which will operate a fleet of Bombardier CRJ1000 regional jets. Most of the operations will be focus on islands in the east and west of the country, including such provinces as Aceh, the Riau Islands, West Papua, Maluku and East and West Nusa Tenggara.
“The Explore ATR72-600 aircraft will support Garuda Indonesia’s Bombardier CRJ1000 NextGen aircraft operation in accordance to improve the national connectivity programme by developing our flight network to the fast growing economic regions and tourist destination in the remote area in Indonesia,” said Garuda’s president & CEO, Emirsyah Satar.
Garuda Indonesia will operate its first Explore flight on 3 December 2013, using a 70-seat, all-economy class ATR72-600 aircraft on routes from hubs at Bali, Makassar and Ambon to destinations including Labuan Bajo, Ende and Bima. The airline has placed orders for up to 35 ATR72-600s, which will be delivered in stages between now and 2017.
“The ATR 72-600 offers the same high level of comfort to passengers, as the other fleet types operated by Garuda Indonesia. This type of aircraft is the best in its class to serve short distance routes between the islands and cities in Indonesia that have a limited runway capacity,” added Satar.
Garuda already operates 12 Bombardier CRJ1000s, with plans to welcome a further six into its fleet. These aircraft are configured with 96 seats in two classes. The airline recently launched Bombardier CRJ1000 flights connecting Makassar, on the island of Sulawesi, with the Papuan hubs of Jayapura, Manokwari and Sorong.